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Testing/​Standards

OEKO-TEX test criteria: New regulations for 2014

At the start of the year, the OEKO-TEX Association has, as usual, updated the valid test criteria and limit values for product certification in accordance with its OEKO-TEX Standard 100. The following new regulations have been provided with comment from OEKO-TEX and come into force on 1 April 2014 for all certifications, following a three-month transition period:

16th January 2014

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 |  Frankfurt

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At the start of the year, the OEKO-TEX Association has, as usual, updated the valid test criteria and limit values for product certification in accordance with its OEKO-TEX Standard 100. The following new regulations have been provided with comment from OEKO-TEX and come into force on 1 April 2014 for all certifications, following a three-month transition period:

  • The specifications for perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) will become much stricter. In future, values cannot exceed the following limits:

- Product class I: 50 µg/kg = 0.05 mg/kg (previously 0.10 mg/kg)

- Product class II: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)

- Product class III: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)

- Product class IV: 500 µg/kg = 0.50 mg/kg (previously 1.00 mg/kg)

  • Four longer-chained, perfluorinated compounds will also be included in the criteria catalogue with the same limit values as PFOA. Specifically, these are the substances perfluoroundecanoic acid / heni-cosafluoroundecanoic acid (CAS 2058-94-8), perfluorododecanoic acid / tricosafluorododecanoic acid (CAS 307-55-1), perfluorotridecanoic acid / pentacosafluorotridecanoic acid (CAS 72629-94-8) and perfluorotetradecanoic acid / heptacosafluorotetradecanoic acid (CAS 376-06-7). The reason behind this is the inclusion of the chemicals in the ECHA Candidate List with substances of very high concern (SVHC) as part of the REACh legislation.

With these two measures, OEKO-TEX is specifically supporting the "Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)" initiative of international brands and retailers that have committed to excluding hazardous chemicals from the production process by 2020.

  • All the perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) regulated by OEKO-TEX will in future be listed in a separate substance category, and not, as previously, in the section "Other Chemical Residues".
  • For the alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), the test will be extended to further ethoxylate chains (1-20).
  • The limit values for nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP) as well as for nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP(EO)) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OP(EO)) will be significantly reduced in all OEKO-TEX® product classes:

Sum: NP + OP: 10.0 mg/kg (previously 50 mg/kg)

Sum: NP + NP(EO)1-20 + OP + OP(EO)1-20: 250.0 mg/kg (previously 500 mg/kg)

By reducing the limit values, OEKO-TEX is contributing to the complete exclusion of NP and OP as well as APEOs from textile production, striven for by the industry and also one of the goals of the ZDHC initiative and other campaigns. As a result of the globally introduced company audits as an element of every OEKO-TEX certification, all the companies participating in the OEKO-TEX system have also been made aware of these environmentally harmful, problematic substances in aids.

  • As a supplement to pentachlorophenol (PCP) and tetrachlorophenols (TeCP), the OEKO-TEX certification will in future also include a check on all trichlorophenols (TrCP).
  • Dinosebacetate will also be included in the list of banned pesticides, as the use of this substance is banned in some European countries.
  • Among the regulated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven substances have additionally been given a specific individual limit value. The total limit value in the respective product classes for all 24 PAHs will stay the same. With this measure, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 once again demonstrates its pioneering role in the testing of textiles and accessory materials of all kinds. The European legislation published in December, and which will apply from 27 December 2015 (Regulation (EU) No. 1272/2013 amending Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACh)), on selected PAH compounds has already been taken into account and implemented in OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, edition 2014.
  • With regard to softeners, CAS number 84777-06-0 will be also added for dipentyl phthalate (branched and linear) for the sake of completeness.
  • The existing exemption in OEKO-TEX Standard 100 for a few selected products for solvent residues will be extended for 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). The exemption now also applies for spun-dyed fibres that are used specifically in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX test criteria, please contact the OEKO-TEX Secretariat ([email protected] ) or the OEKO-TEX institutes and representative offices (www.oeko-tex.com/institutes ).

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